CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Investigators are working to determine what caused a fire early Tuesday that destroyed a McClellanville home.
Charleston County dispatchers received the call about a fire in the 700 block of Oyster Bay Road at approximately 2:40 a.m.
The homeowner, Richard Hunter, said he and his wife were sleeping, and he was awakened by a loud noise in the back of the home.
"As I stepped into my living room, I could see orange flames on the back porch," Hunter said.
In seconds, the porch was engulfed.
He woke up his wife after seeing a rapidly-moving fire.
"So I slammed the door, hollered at my wife and said 'Get out of here,'" he said.
The couple escaped without injury, but the fire was unforgiving.
According to fire officials, the wood frame fed the fire.
The intense heat left little behind but mounds of ash and rubble.
A family home of nearly 17 years now a total loss.
The family is just thankful to be alive.
"We got out. Now we're going to have to rebuild," Hunter said."It's going to be a painful experience...I'm overwhelmed."
He said he grilled the night before, but made sure everything was off.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
A number of neighbors have already stopped by to look at the damage and offer help to this family who has lost nearly everything.
The St. Paul's Fire Department, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and EMS also responded.